ECC Report Logo  
Official News of the
Ecumenical Catholic Communion
Issue: #57
Spring 2020 

News from Office of Presiding Bishop  

Presiding Bishop Report 
from Bishop Francis Krebs

ECC Report Spring 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Synod Update
I want to start off with an announcement from the Leadership Council, which is charged with planning our synod for this year: 

"There will be no "in person" gathering for Synod this Fall. However, there will be a Fall Synod; we will gather remotely on Zoom. This remote gathering will happen within the same time frame we had planned (October 12-15 2020), but it is likely to occur over no more than part of two days. The Leadership Council is working to decide the exact date(s) and times of our gathering. We expect it will be a combination of conducting the needed business of Synod and experiencing content, fellowship, and prayer." 

As you can see there are details still to be worked out and questions still to be answered, e.g., will the next Synod after this year be in 2021 or 2022; would a 2021 synod affect the election of our next presiding bishop in some way; etc.? So, we don't have everything figured out yet, but we wanted you to have the above information for your planning. 

Our Covid 19 Journey Together
A National State of Emergency regarding Covid 19 was declared on March 13. Since that time members of our Communion, our friends and family have suffered the ravages of this scourge. Communities have scrambled to creatively respond to their own worship needs. Pastors and lay leaders have labored to hold their flocks together. Some have fallen sick. Some have died. Some communities have lost their worship space for various reasons, including economic ones. Our chaplains have been under significant strains. Many of us have become weary. Our hope has been tested by realistic projections of what life in our country is likely to be like for the foreseeable future. 

At the same time many of our communities have experienced a tighter bond, a new desire to reach out and to care for each other, new ways of sparking and sharing our faith while socially distanced. There is the sense that this is a big moment, which may have a profound impact on our history together. Let us continue to connect with each other and to reassure each other that we are not walking this strange journey by ourselves. We have each other, even if our interactions for now are in different ways. 

By the way, I want to make myself available to meet with groups of clergy and lay leaders and/or with individual communities who might find it valuable to have such a meeting during the months ahead. Please simply contact Erin Outson, our Administrator, to set that up for you,

If you are beginning to think about the possibilities for your worshiping together as you did before the pandemic, I want you be aware of resources to help with your discerning and your planning. I became aware of the first resource ( through participation in a National Council of Churches Zoom meeting with Robert Redfield, M.D., head of the CDC. The second set of resources came from Father Mike Bober in Oshkosh, WI; the set was produced by the Wisconsin Council of Churches and is quite helpful it seems to me (WCC Guide to Returning to Church - Ministry During COVID19.pdf (601,519 KB) and

For some of us, all these details, while extremely helpful, can be a bit overwhelming. Therefore I advise your parish council to consider selecting one detail-oriented and effective member to be the point person for your Covid 19 planning, if you have not already done so. That person could be the specialist who is very aware of the directives and suggestions in these resources and who could then develop a kind of checklist that you will need to ensure the safety of your communities. This specialist could also assist your parish council in determining the overall direction of your way forward and its timeline.  Remember: once your civil authorities say it is safe to "reopen," then it is still your decision about whether to have in person gatherings at all during this period.  Please digest the guidance I am sending you and decide whether you want to meet in person with those restrictions.  In the meantime, I will organize an information session where these specialists can meet with some of our Communion's own medical professionals to discuss their questions and concerns. Stay tuned about the details of this gathering. We will send it to this same mailing list.

Of course on another level, some would say that this pandemic has been such a profound experience that we will never worship together quite as we did before. For that reason I look forward to long conversations with any interested parties about what we have learned as we have worshiped and experienced our common hope, faith, and love in new ways. 

Financial Challenges
Some of our communities have been experiencing financial strain even since before the economic downturn, and this strain has contributed to financial pressure on our Communion as a whole. First, I want to remind everyone that the Office of Presiding Bishop offers a service for communities looking to improve their financial situation through the consulting skills of Art Bavoso who has many years of experience of helping not-for-profits secure the funding they need to operate. If you wish to consult with Art, please contact him through our administrator, Erin Outson,

Second, the Mary Magdalene Society and the Finance Committee of the House of Laity are collaborating on a program for this year called "Strengthening Our Future," which is aimed at maintaining our economic stability as a Communion during this critical time. You will be hearing more about this soon.

Speaking of the Mary Magdalene Society
Meet our 2020 Grant Winners: 
Annie Hayes, MDiv student, member of Light of Christ Community in Longmont, CO: "I am deeply humbled by the Mary Magdalene Society's scholarship as it enables me to pursue my Master of Divinity at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. The reception of this grant is affirmation of my calling to continue serving God and the ECC in ever-expanding ways. As we explore how the next generation of ECC leadership will articulate our identity as the Body of Christ in the world, I am certain that Iliff will help me develop the courageous theological imagination that our Communion needs as we embark on this task. I am thrilled to learn the skills necessary to help us lean deeper into our understanding of being church together and embodying sacramental justice in our diverse and changing world."

Rev. Trish Vanni of Charis Community in Minneapolis, MN: "I write to express my deep gratitude to you for the financial support you are providing to our household in the form of a grant. This money will be applied to my payments for my student loans, a substantial sum that combines both PhD and MDiv debt. At a time where the Charis community can provide but a small housing stipend and as I look for employment, it makes all the difference both financially and psychically to receive your support. As you know from my application, my decision to part from the Roman church precipitated a loss of my livelihood. I do not regret that at all, as my brief time in ministry in the ECC has been the most life-giving chapter of my professional life. However, your support as I rebuild my livelihood is critical and deeply valued. Thank you so very much!"

To learn more about the Mary Magdalene Society and its important work, contact Betty Adams,

Your brother,
We strongly encourage you to follow not only the ECC on Facebook but also individual ECC communities and ECC Regions. You can see what folks are up to and you'll get to know others in the Communion better. Many of the Facebook pages have links to community websites, newsletters, virtual worship services etc. There are some awesome people and communities out there!

After listening to some pretty harsh comments & arguing over reopening or completely shutting down for another two weeks, someone in their right mind wrote this.

Don't know who wrote it, but it's spot on.


I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.

For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.

For some that live alone they're facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.

With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than when they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.

Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0.

Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.

Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.

Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal.

Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020.
Others say the worst is yet to come.

So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.

Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.

We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.

Realize that and be kind.

Unknown author
R eport from the ECC Finance Committee
 ECC Finance Ministry Update
 By: John O'Grady & Leo Champagne, Finance Ministry co-chairs
Greetings all. We are sure you are concerned about the finances of your individual churches; we are too. The financial health of our parishes, effects the financial health of the ECC. Tithing income has decreased somewhat during the first quarter of this year as the Coronavirus has unfolded and taken hold. In the first quarter, we suggested to the HOL Steering committee and they voted and followed through with making cuts to the bare minimum for the 2020 ECC budget for this year.

All churches right now are trying to figure out how to navigate going forward with holding services. Most communities are continuing to tithe the required amount to the ECC and are trying the best that they can; that is all we can ask for. We want you to know that the ECC is here for you. If there is anything which we can do to help your community, please reach out to us. As important as finances are for running the Communion, communication, fostering and nurturing relationships with our parishes, takes precedence over counting coins. Hang in there, we will all get through this together.
News from House of Pastors
Fr. Mike Bober, HOP President           Rev. Rosa Buffone, HOP Vice President

House of Pastors (HOP) Report                  Spring 2020

ECC Clergy Conference June 2, 2020The Leadership of the House of Pastors would like to invite all priests, deacons, pastors, chaplains and ordination candidates of the Communion to gather  on June 2nd at 6:00 pm CDT  on zoom.  We will share with one another  our recent experiences with maintaining our work in faith communities through statewide "stay at home" orders these past nine weeks, our service as chaplains and pastoral counselors to our most vulnerable members, our  best practices and creative ideas for nurturing community in this time of physical distancing and social isolation and  concerns and challenges of regathering in person as  state officials begin to roll out their phasing plan for reopening businesses, church buildings, organizations, youth recreational activity and public spaces. 

We hope you can join us for this conversation.  Watch for a couple of survey questions to arrive in the next week.  Your responses will help us get the discussion rolling when we gather.   Both the survey and zoom links will be emailed to you from the HOP Steering Committee member of your region/diocese.

I also want to share a little reflection with you from St. Francis

I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments--- 
He got so excited And ran into a hollow in his tree and came back 
Holding some acorns, an owl feather, and a ribbon He had found. 
And I just smiled and said, "Yes, dear, you understand: 
Everything imparts His grace" 

This current plague certainly shows us how little it takes to completely unravel much of what we generally think is important in life. Many of our plans, our habits, our ideas of what makes us successful have been shredded. Yet life, family, love, community go on.

I would like to suggest that we can take a lesson from St. Francis' squirrel friend: treasure the little, beautiful things in our lives. Honor them. Set them aside as reminders of how much God cares for us and showers us with love. 

Perhaps we can take comfort in those signs of "His grace" when the forces beyond our control seem overwhelming. 

This coming week, may you experience the holiness of your home, your family, your pets and everything that God has given you.

President of the HOP

Vice-President of the HOP

HOP Steering Committee Members
East Coast
Rev. Rosa Buffone, Holy Spirit, MA
Rev. Rick Klaich, Holy Spirit, MA

Rocky Mountain
Rev. Teri Harroun, Light of Christ, CO
Dcn. Mike Weil, Holy Family, CO

Rev. Delores Kropf, St Michael the Archangel, AZ

Diocese of California 
Rev. Arturo Querijero-Ferreras, St Matthew, CA

Pacific Northwest 
Rev. James Murphy, St Clare, WA

Diocese of Mid-America
Rev. Mike Bober, Emmaus, WI

Rev. Trish Vanni, Charis, MN
News from House of Laity
Tom Wilding,  HOL Chair             
Paula Hayford, HOL Vice Chair

House of Laity (HOL) Report           Spring 2020

We have linked the minutes of our most recent meetings to the sidebar and you can also access them  here.

Peace,  Tom Wilding
HOL Chair
Hello everyone, After checking in with the HOL & HOP delegates of nearly all of our ECC communities and other potential attendees regarding health risks and financial security, the Leadership Council voted to postpone an in-person Synod this year and join together on a digital platform for prayerful, informational and business related virtual gatherings. 

Both the ECC Synod 2020 FB group and the ECC Synod 2020 FB Events page will remain up and announce updates as it becomes available. Visit them both, "like" and "follow" ... let's connect with one another and use these pages as a conversation platform to discuss "Everything Synod" ... before, during and after! We realize not everyone is on FB so we'll have emails to both Houses as well.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you on our virtual platforms which has opened up many opportunities for all of us!

ECC Leadership Council & 2020 Synod Planning Team

Documentary on St. Jerome Parish Streaming on Amazon
Andy Kinslow and I have produced a feature length documentary on the first 20 years of the St. Jerome Parish in Tulsa. We are members at St. Jerome, and we own a film production company.   The film, Unlikely Family, is now streaming on Amazon. It is showing on Amazon channels in the United States, Great Britain, and multiple other territories, including Canada, Australia, and the Philippines. 
This inspiring story (See synopsis below) about how  The Parish Church of St. Jerome was started, and its first 20 years, was produced as part of the 20th anniversary of the church.  The version that was shown at theaters and film festivals was the "Director's Cut." When  California Pictures picked it up for distribution it was re-edited to make it more appealing for an international audience. The main difference is more interviews with religious scholars.
You can watch the theatrical version of the film now on Amazon Prime: 
If you don't have Amazon, you can stream it on Vimeo:
Feel free to tell your friends, and have them rate the film online on Amazon here: or on IMDB, here:   You must be signed in, in order to rate the film at the bottom of each page. Ratings will drive interest in the film, and ultimately the subject matter. 
Link to the Trailer to the film:
Link to Facebook page:

Russ Kirkpatrick & Andy Kinslow 
Director/Producer | Executive Producer

Unlikely Family Synopsis

A compelling and thought provoking feature documentary, UNLIKELY FAMILY tells the heartwarming story of a church in the heart of America's "bible belt" that decided to throw off the shackles of guilt, shame and fear carried in the shadows of the faith community to not only create a place where they are finally free to worship together in the open, but also serve as a beacon of hope to those who share their gut-wrenching experiences of attempting to draw near to a loving God in religious organizations where soul quenching compassion is too often so difficult to find. By displaying "unlikely strength" to bring to fruition their "unlikely idea" in one of the most "unlikely places," UNLIKELY FAMILY does not allow even the most conservative religious zealots the opportunity to ignore the "unlikely faith" of a group of "unlikely disciples," nor the "unlikely triumph" they have achieved.
 Want to submit an article, picture, poem, etc for a future issue, send it to me!

And sometimes you just have to smile...sing along...

Contacting the Administrative Office

483 E Lockwood Ave., Ste. 3, St. Louis, MO  63119
Office: 314-918-2767
Bishop Francis Krebs:
Erin Outson:

In This Issue
After the Global March...
ECC Finance Report
News from House of Pastors
News from House of Laity



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 Leadership Council  

 HOL Steering Comm.

HOP Steering Comm


Joint HOL-HOP Meeting


Episcopal Council 

Treasurer Report
  Balance Sheet  
Pledge to Actual


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Great Lakes
Mid-America Diocese

Rocky Mountain




 St. Matthew


Pacific Northwest


ECC Europe:






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Education Commission

Social Justice Commission Project



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Franciscans of Reconciliation


Benedictine Companions

VARIOUS Documents

Ethics Code